| News

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Going to Cuba': The wrong itinerary

Email Newsletters

Sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Americans pondering a jaunt to Cuba this year under relaxed travel restrictions won't be able to pop in and say "hello" to Alan Gross. Nor will they find him in the isle's nightclubs or smoking one of its famous stogies in a comfortable chaise longue.

No, Mr. Gross, 61, a Maryland subcontractor, is doing 15 years in a Cuban prison on trumped-up charges of conspiring against "the integrity and independence of Cuba" for illegally importing computer gear. The Obama administration's crack foreign policy team has been entirely ineffectual in securing his release. Even Jimmy Carter, on a trip to the communist island in March, couldn't liberal up a pardon -- although an appeal reportedly is pending.

Yet despite Cuba's latest flagrant nose-thumbing, the U.S. is moving ahead with a new travel policy that's supposed to bring everyday Cubans and Americans together, supposedly for mutual understanding.

Even if Mr. Gross is released tomorrow, lifting the travel ban won't sow the seeds of democracy, free enterprise and liberty in the hardened concrete of Cuban communism.

"The only thing it does is provide hard currency for a totalitarian regime," says U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., who grew up in a Cuban-exile family.

In fostering "better understanding," we doubt any travel itinerary will include Cuba's despicable accommodations for political prisoners.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.



Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Ford City budget may not be final
  2. 2,200 union employees of ATI lose coverage
  3. Angel trees feature pets from shelter
  4. Babies welcomed to the world in holiday style
  5. November spared Valley effects of wintry weather
  6. Mentor takes young Brackenridge hunter under his wing
  7. Eastern Pa. man jailed in Armstrong County
  8. Shoppers can buy gifts for seniors through Home Instead program
  9. Starkey: Tomlin lived in his fears
  10. Penguins’ reshuffled top line of Crosby, Dupuis, Kunitz looks familiar
  11. Demand for surveillance systems boosts sales for Vector Security